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Breakfast at the only Rolls Royce Boutique in the world was an exciting way to start our experience with the first-ever SUV from Rolls-Royce, the Cullinan. A unique signature for a truly unique automobile, the Cullinan is named after a diamond but not just any diamond, a 3,106-carat diamond as explained by jeweler Adi Al Fardan, founder of Adi Hasan Al Fardan Jewelry Trading.
Talking about the Rolls Royce Cullinan - or the Phantom’s brawnier sibling as everyone calls it - is truly fantastic. Bold and beautiful, the Cullinan possesses every characteristic that a Rolls Royce should. Aesthetically, the Rolls Royce Cullinan shares its snout with the Phantom, with the Spirit of Ecstasy shining brightly atop it. The narrow headlights are a signature of the British marque and lend it a distinct presence and identity.
Mamdouh Khairallah, General Manager, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars AGMC: “The Cullinan is the culmination of Rolls-Royce’s proud legacy and traditions coupled with the demands of today’s customers who desire refinement, comfort and off-road capability. The world’s first true ultra-luxury SUV, the Cullinan presents an environment of the utmost sophistication and craftsmanship that has been constructed using the finest materials and complete attention to detail with no compromises.”
Along the side, 22-inch wheels fill the wheel wells, while ‘The Spear’ – a distinct design element – embellishes the lower door panels. The rear is sporty and flaunts the bustle back, an element that is reminiscent of the 1930 Rolls D-Back. The tail lamps are smaller than expected but they are functional without disturbing the elegant bodywork. The highlight is undoubtedly the little jewels within them that light up every time the brake pedal is pressed.
On our drive from the Rolls Royce Boutique in City Walk to the Bab Al Shams desert resort, the Cullinan proved to be as majestic as one would expect. The twin-turbo 6.7-liter V12 was smooth and linear in its power delivery, while always reminding us that a large chunk of its grunt was being unutilized at three-digit highway speeds. Silent and extremely luxurious, it churned out 571 horsepower and a whopping 850 Nm of torque.
Part of how sublime the overall experience is, is down to the air suspension set-up that the Cullinan is armed with. Not only can the ride height be reduced from the key to ease passenger ingress or loading into the trunk, but the air suspension also offers a significant increase in height making luxurious off-road jaunts a possibility during the cooler months.
The All-Wheel-Drive system is paired to an 8-speed satellite aided transmission that communicates with the engine and prepares it for the road ahead using data from the navigation system. Essentially, if a bend is coming up within 300 meters, the transmission prepares the engine and starts shifting into a lower gear without the need for the driver to intervene.
In conclusion, driving the Rolls Royce Cullinan is bound to turn heads and it is something that has been long awaited for in the industry since the launch of the Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus. All in all, the Cullinan is great, and we’re extremely impressed with what Rolls Royce has put out.